Thursday, June 10, 2010

2nd Cortisone Shot - this time to my Right Knee along the IT band

On Monday, I got a cortisone shot to my right knee via interventional radiology, where they used an ultrasound machine to find out precisely where I needed the shot and then did the injection. The doctor said that I had fluid and bursitis in the right knee along the IT band from below the knee to well above the knee (he said that the length of the fluid "pocket" was abnormally long). The doctor that gave me the shot frequently gives professional athletes cortisone shots. I asked him if the shot he gave me would be the same as the shot he would give a professional athlete and he said "the shot I gave you for your injury is exactly the same shot I would give a professional athlete or anybody else. The only difference is that the professional athlete is likely to get back on the field tomorrow, whereas you will take a week off from running". He advised me to take a week off from running and said that I can swim or bike starting Thursday so long as I don't have pain. Hopefully, the shot will help my recovery.

My right knee has been significantly better over the last week. I've really focused on cross training (biking and swimming) to minimize the impact of running, and I am loving cross training. My physical therapy and leg strengthening exercises are also helping me big time. I have also found that warming up on the bike before running has loosened up my IT bands before my runs, which has been great. Also, I'm finding that riding the bike has strengthened my legs and gluteus maximus (I.e. My bum), where my physical therapists say I am weak, which in turn is causing my legs to buckle when running (my right leg is significantly weaker than my left knee), which is therefore putting more pressure on my knees and IT bands. I didn't believe that I was weak in my legs until they had me do a bunch of simple leg tests and I struggled. Now, I'm a huge believer in this explanation and have been doing my leg strengthening exercises religiously everyday. Almost all of them are done with a band (like a big rubber band). The band provides resistance to assist in the strengthening. I've also been rolling out my IT bands daily, which also helps. I bought "the grid" roller, which is orange and is made by Trigger Points I think. My friend LW recommended it and said "the best thing about it, other than the fact that it doesn't break down because it is made of hard plastic versus foam, is that you can put it in your suitcase when you travel and can stuff clothes in the hollow hole in the middle". Hardcore. LW did his first Ironman in Germany last summer.

Here is a summary of my workouts over the last week:

Monday - cycled for 50 minutes

Tuesday - cycled for 45 minutes

Wednesday - off

Thursday Morning - cycled for 40 immediately followed by a 20 minute run (8:09 pace, no pain)

Thursday Evening - swam for 19 minutes followed immediately by 10 minutes of cycling

Friday - swam 34 minutes

Saturday - cycled for 30 minutes immediately followed by a 22 minute run (8:14 pace, no pain)

Sunday - off

I've run every other day for the last week, most recently Monday morning for 24 minutes with no pain in my right knee (and I ran the last mile at 7:25 pace). My right knee is getting much better, just nagging little twinges a little after I run once in a while. I'm now officially in love with the bridal path. It is much easier on my body and I don't think that I am going to run the loop for a while. There is a whole sub culture on the bridal path

The bursitis behind my left knee still present, however. The doctor took a look at it again on Monday via ultrasound and said that the area still has fluid in it despite my cortisone shot. This could mean that the cortisone shot did not work. I asked if it could be drained and he said that the fluid is in an area that they don't typically drain. His advice was to see how it is doing in a few weeks and said that I may need another cortisone shot to the area (he recommended waiting 3 months but said I should talk to my knee doctor). I'm bummed that the left knee is still bothering me. They looked for the ganglion cyst again but couldn't find it. It sure does feel like it is still in there. I may need to get another mri.

I won't run for at least another week, but will start workouts on the bike and in the pool starting Thursday.

1 comment:

  1. Geez, and here I am complaining about my knee. My New York City knee doctor told me I have chondromalacia patella- but after looking that up I came across your blog. I am so glad I did, here I was thinking my injury was bad. But compared to all the other blogs and yours that I have come across, my injury is so minor. Thanks so much for your post. Hope everything has worked out for you!